Kids don’t need fancy garlic bread. But that’s not really the point of this post.

When I was growing up, my parents were on a ehhh…. extremely tight budget. By that I mean, there were times we did not have hot water, or heat. 

My mom worked with a very, very small grocery budget. And by worked, she really worked…she made lists, and researched, and wrote down every single thing she needed to buy for 2 weeks, what the exact cost was, marked stuff off the list when the total got too high, and got creative to make it work.

Earlier this evening I realized it was time to figure out dinner and I had no plan. I grabbed some shrimp from the freezer and started to thaw them, scoured the pantry for something to go with it and decided on shrimp with pasta for the kids for dinner.

As I was preparing their bowls — one cut extra small for Koa, one cut in slightly small pieces for Alana, and one not cut at all for Kai — I thought, I wish I had some garlic bread to go with this for them. I normally buy the Texas Toast – 3 cheese Texas Toast to be exact.

I didn’t have any since this was a last minute dinner plan kind of night, but my eye caught a glimpse of the bread and it hit me – I could make my mom’s garlic bread. I pulled out the last 4 slices of bread, slathered on some butter (vegan butter, ‘cause that’s all I have), sprinkled a little garlic powder on top, and put them in the oven on broil.

A few minutes later, I pulled out the “garlic bread”, put it on a plate and placed it proudly in the middle of the dining room table where the kids were eating their pasta. 

I prepared myself for the questions and critiques. I waited for the, “Where’s the cheese?” Or the, “Why did you make us toast?” And definitely the, “I like the other stuff better.”

Instead, they each just grabbed a piece and started eating. After tasting a few bites Kai said, “Yum. This is the best.”

When I was a kid, I often thought about all of the things my mother was not.

I focused a lot on the things she didn’t do, or couldn’t do. She personally had a lot of struggles that often times made things really hard, and other circumstances in our life just made them harder.

But now…. now that I am a mom of 3 little kids, I can see all of the things she WAS. I can finally see all that she DID do. And all of the miracles she made happen from nothing — like that garlic bread.

It was the best dang garlic bread. Because it was made with love, and resourcefulness, and I’m sure sometimes tears, and stress, and worry…it was a mom trying to feed her family. That was the way she loved and took care of her family, the only way she could. And she worked tirelessly at it, thanklessly. 

Koa didn’t finish his garlic bread, so I ate what was left of his – and I thought about how I wished I could tell her now that I finally SEE her, and that I am loving my family the same way she did — because she taught me well in that way, even if neither of us realized she was teaching it.

If I could, I would tell her that all of the things she DID do outweighed those things that she couldn’t do. And I would tell her that I’d take her homemade garlic bread any day over Texas Toast.

So mamas, whenever you feel like what you’re doing is not enough — reminder yourself of this garlic bread. If you’re doing it with love, it is more than enough.

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